Persian American Representatives of Students rings in spring with annual show

Amy Whyte

The Persian American Representatives of Students sought to appeal to a wider audience at its annual spring show celebrating Naw-Ruz, the Iranian New Year, on Saturday.

The event, held in Harris Hall, featured three Northwestern musical groups and MTV comedian K-von.

PARS President Alex Pezeshki said the group wanted to include acts, such as Purple Haze, that would appeal to students besides the group’s members.

“This year we wanted to have a little more of a Northwestern feel,” the Weinberg junior said.

In the past, attendance at the show has been relatively low. PARS Treasurer and Weinberg junior Zane Khademi estimated about 40 people attended last year’s show. This year, in an attempt to attract a larger audience, the PARS executive board advertised by flyering all over campus and creating a Facebook event. As a result, this year’s show was nearly twice as successful, with upwards of 70 people attending.

This marketing strategy reached many Persians from Chicago and the surrounding area who traveled to Evanston to see the show. Azita Ateshkadi said she drove 45 minutes from Lindenhurst, Ill., to watch the performances after seeing the Facebook event online.

“The show was fantastic,” she said. “I loved all of it.”

Northwestern students attended as well. Communication junior Savan Patel said he learned about the show through a friend and was interested in watching K-von’s act.

“I heard that PARS has grown a lot this year and I wanted to check it out,” he said.

A capella group Purple Haze opened the show and performed a set of three songs, followed by Indian band Zamin, which performed songs in Farsi. Comedian Say Em warmed up the audience with a series of impressions before the main act, K-von, a half-Persian comedian and star of MTV’s “Disaster Date.”

“The great part about comedy is we don’t have to be politically correct all the time,” K-von said at the beginning of his performance. “We laugh, we joke and we all come together.”

Despite K-von’s jokes about Persians being the comedic audience that is the most difficult to please, his stand-up routine provoked a lot of laughter from the crowd. The two-hour-long show ended with a set by The Aurelia Trio, last year’s runners-up in Mayfest’s Battle of the Bands.

“It went a lot smoother than I expected,” Pezeshki said. “I think we did really well.”

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